Today, customer experience is considered a key competitive differentiator. Customer service plays a major role in completing this experience. A great customer service experience increases customer satisfaction wins your clients’ hearts and can get your name recognized within your industry.
Businesses that manage to deliver a differentiated customer experience establish relationships with their customers understand their needs and provide high-level customer service to build customer loyalty.
Research shows that 58% of customers agree customer service is vital for their loyalty to a brand. Conducting regular quality checks is a part of maintaining top-level customer service.
In service positions where the employee turnover rate is high, providing excellent quality customer service experience is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of the job. As new employees join and old ones leave, the quality of your customer service poses the constant risk of deteriorating. That's why it's crucial to look at the right metrics to keep the pulse of your customer service performance.
The most evident indicator of your customer service performance is customer feedback. It's easy to see how well your team performs and how to improve your service through the feedback you receive from customers. Here, we’ve collected the best surveys to measure customer service performance and best practices that will upgrade your customer service performance.
Table of contents:
Benefits of customer service surveys
Customer service surveys are the most helpful way to listen to your customer and understand if they are satisfied with your brand, product, or service. Oracle's study reveals that 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. So if your current customer experience isn't up to standard, you risk not only losing a customer but losing them to competition. You can use the insights obtained from customer service surveys to promptly respond to inquiries, make better business decisions that ultimately improve the overall customer experience.
Provide high-standard customer service.
Getting regular feedback from your customers about your customer service performance helps you maintain the highest possible standards. They also provide you with quality benchmarks when used periodically. The feedback you collect from your customers at different points allows you to compare data to evaluate if implemented changes had a positive impact or if any changes are required. This way, you can be sure that your customer service process is going in the right direction.
Identify areas for improvement in your process.
After each interaction with your support team, you should send online surveys to your customers to collect results quickly, helping you instantly see everything you need to do better. In your surveys, you are likely to observe a pattern of customer complaints, like long resolution times, not enough self-service support, etc. You can use these insights to inform future improvements to your process. So, even if you think you have a good interaction with your customers, you should send them a customer service evaluation survey. This will show that you care about continuous improvement in your service quality and help you identify pain areas before customers churn.
Introduce enhancements in your product or service
With insights from customer service surveys, you can discover valuable feedback on functionality and design. Your questionnaires should contain open-ended questions so your customers can add their ideas. By sharing these new ideas with the necessary teams, you can initiate customer-led product development.
Increase customer retention
It may come as no surprise; repeat customers spend 67% more money than first-time customers. So, providing your customers with an excellent service experience increases loyalty and consequently contributes to repeat sales. Research done by Bain & Company (the inventor of the Net Promoter Score) shows rising customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. Remember, happy customers are those who are most likely to repeat purchases and share their experiences with others. When your customers know that you are listening to their needs by asking them about the quality of the service you offer, you will have a high retention rate.
Moreover, 55% of people say they would become customers thanks to a company’s reputation for excellent customer service. So, good customer service directly affects your brand's reputation and sales.
Increase customer lifetime value
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) represents the total revenue you can expect from a single customer account. Increasing your CLV means your customers will shop more often from your brand or stay subscribed longer with your business. Providing an exceptional customer service experience helps your customers gain trust in your brand. This, in return, allows you to upsell and cross-sell additional products, growing your customer lifetime value.
5 surveys for Measuring Customer Service Performance
Customer service surveys are short surveys designed to provide information about interactions between your customer service and customers. There are many types of surveys and questions you can ask to listen to your customers’ experience with your customer service.
Here, we'll cover the top 5 types of customer service surveys.
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Service Agents
30% of people say the most crucial aspect of customer service is speaking with a knowledgeable and friendly agent. A knowledgeable and courteous customer service agent increases customer satisfaction and competitive advantage.
Your customers communicate with your brand through your customer service representatives, or agents, throughout their customer journey. These interactions have a dramatic impact on creating a positive or negative experience for your customers. Therefore, you should constantly evaluate the performance of your service agents.
Customer service agent surveys collect information about customer satisfaction by asking questions about the service provided by the representative.
You can uncover your customers’ pain points via surveys and use these insights to train your agents and evaluate things you can improve. When a service agent receives positive feedback, you can reward them for boosting morale. Keeping the morale of your customer representatives high has a dramatic effect on customer relationships. In fact, 73% of customers say they stay loyal to brands thanks to friendly customer service representatives.
You can share Survicate customer service agent surveys using your favorite customer service software like Zendesk, HelpScout, Freshdesk, and collect agent-specific feedback from your customers. By adding agent-specific parameters to your survey link, you can gather feedback on their performance.
These parameters are easily filtered to analyze your agents’ performance results individually.
Here is how Recurly.com evaluates their agent performance, a simple good/bad question followed by an open-ended question. It's a great way to respect your Customer’s time while gathering valuable feedback!
Customer service agent survey question examples:
> Based on your recent interaction, Please rate the service provided by the [company] representative.
> How knowledgeable was our customer service agent about the company/policies/product?
> Was the customer service agent polite/friendly?
> Did our representative resolve your issue completely?
> Would you say your inquiry was resolved promptly?
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Support Channels
Businesses that offer excellent customer service do this by supporting their customers via the channel of the customer’s choosing. This raises an important question: What is the most effective channel for customer service? The answer to this question has become even more complicated today, where the importance of providing omnichannel customer service is on the rise.
Using surveys, you can efficiently evaluate your service channels by asking your customers directly. This way, you will eliminate guesswork and provide excellent service for your customers.
To determine which customer service channel is most effective, you can conduct a channel-specific survey or add questions to your survey for channel effectiveness. This way, you can see which channels your customers can answer their questions on the first attempt or which ones need to be revised. This information will help you identify positive patterns and knowledge gaps in your service channel effectiveness.
Customer service channel effectiveness survey question examples:
> Which specific customer service channels do you like to use? (Customers can choose from options like knowledge base, live chat, call center, etc.)
> Were you able to find what you were looking for on the [channel name]?
> How could we improve [name of the channel], in your opinion?
> How would you rate the process for getting your problem resolved via [channel name]?
> Based on your recent experience today, would you use [channel name] again?
Customer Effort Score (CES) Survey
The Customer Effort Score is a metric that measures how much effort your customers put into getting their questions answered or issues resolved when seeking help. Rather than asking for feedback on your products as a whole or evaluating the agent helping them, CES focuses on the process customers go through and the effort they put into getting the help they need.
The famous article published on HBR argued that customers are more loyal to products or services that are easier to use and draw attention to customer effort. The idea is that companies create loyal customers primarily by helping them solve their problems quickly and easily.
CES surveys can collect more insights at key touchpoints such as customer service interactions or customer meetings. When a customer communicates with your brand, you can ask them whether it was easy for them to get issues resolved, and if not, what went wrong.
A standard CES survey begins with asking customers to rate how much effort it took to get the assistance they needed on a scale of 1-5 or 1-7. However, only a scale runs short on collecting deeper insights from your customers. If someone gives you a low score, ask them why. For this, consider adding a follow-up question in the form of a single choice option or an open-ended question. This way, you will identify trends and improve your customer service to provide the best experience.
Customer Effort Score survey question examples:
> Based on your most recent interaction with our [Support channel], how easy or difficult was it to interact with [Company name]?
> How easy was it to solve your problem today?
> To what extent do you agree with the following statement: [Company name] made it easy to solve the issue
> How much effort did you personally have to put forth in handling your request?
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Survey
Customer Satisfaction Surveys measure customer's satisfaction with a specific experience, like customer onboarding, checkout process, sales satisfaction, or after an interaction with customer service.
Gauging your customer's happiness with your service is crucial to building an exceptional customer service experience. Here, CSAT surveys help you understand your customers' needs and problems with your service.
CSAT surveys usually start with a question asking customers to rate their overall satisfaction with the service on a scale of 1 to 5. When calculating the CSAT score, you divide the number of satisfied customers by the total number of survey responses and get its percentage. The higher this percentage, the happier your customers are.
(Number of satisfied customers (4 and 5) / Number of survey responses) x 100 = % of satisfied customer
A high CSAT score is an indicator of customer retention and customer loyalty. Companies that collect customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction can use this data to create the best experience for their customers. Professionals use CSAT to assess performance improvements and obtain a better view of whether or not your company meets the client’s expectations.
CSAT surveys usually start with asking the customer to rate their satisfaction with the service they receive on a 1-5 scale. You will find a CSAT survey in our template library so you can launch your survey within minutes and start hearing from your customers right away.
If you are building your CSAT survey from scratch, we recommend using survey logic to add an open-ended follow-up question for your unhappy customers. This way, you'll get to know their issues better and know exactly what to do to improve your service.
Customer satisfaction score survey question examples:
> How would you rate the support you received?
> How happy are you with [Company name]’s customer service?
> How could we improve your experience with [Company name]?
> Rate your satisfaction with our team in resolving your issue.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) Survey
First introduced by Bain & Company in 2003, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) soon became an industry standard in understanding customer loyalty. The survey usually starts by asking the customer:
“How likely are you to recommend [company name] to a friend or a colleague?”
NPS questions are scored on a 0-10, and the NPS score is expressed as an integer lying between -100 and +100. The closer you are to +100, the higher the loyalty and awareness of your business.
Results of NPS divide your customers into 3 groups, promoters, detractors, and passives.
Promoters indicate the group that’s satisfied with your services. They are highly motivated to promote your company; they are your brand advocates. Try including a CTA button or page redirect to a third-party review site for this group so that they can voice their satisfaction to a greater audience.
Passives are satisfied with your service, but they would also easily leave for your competitors, as they don't find anything exceptional. For this group, try uncovering the reason behind their score by including an open-ended question like "What can we do to improve your experience?"
Detractors indicate your red zone; these customers are not satisfied. You would want to reach out to detractors as soon as possible, as bad reviews often come from this group and could hurt your brand image. Try enabling custom email notifications upon a detractor response or sending your survey responses to team channels with Slack integration. This way, you'll be able to instantly reach out to your respondents and eliminate the factors causing the issue.
Further reading: A comprehensive guide to NPS surveys
Net Promoter Score survey question examples:
> How likely are you to buy again from us?
> How likely are you to recommend [Product name] to others?
> How likely are you to return to our website?
Best Practices for Customer Service Survey
Keep your survey short
In most cases, customers try to avoid long surveys that contain too many questions. Try to keep it short and straightforward so that the respondent will experience survey fatigue. Your primary intention is to be precise and clear and find the easiest way to ask a question without muddying the waters. We’ve found that the survey completion rate drops about 20% for every additional question added to the survey. Having a low survey completion rate could halt your analysis and retain you from gathering valuable insights.
Provide open space for customers for further feedback.
Allowing customers to express their feedback and ideas will help your business build closer relationships with customers and constantly develop your product. Sometimes, some minor features that are extremely important for customers might be things you do not even imagine. Therefore it is helpful to allow customers to express their thoughts with an open-ended question.
Use simple and straightforward language.
Try to avoid complex long questions that are difficult to understand immediately. Always remember that your goal is to create the most straightforward survey possible. This point will increase the engagement in those surveys and will be perceived more positively by customers.
Survey your customers at the right moment
I used the phone support services of a telecom company, and they sent me a customer service experience survey 6 months after the call. Do you see what is wrong with that? While most of us can't even remember what we ate yesterday, it is impossible to expect our customers to recall a phone call or a chat they participated in several months ago. This is why you should send customer service experience surveys right after your customers had an experience with your service and, if possible, automatically. The longer you wait to ask for feedback on a topic, the less accurate the insights you get.
Survey your customers frequently to create benchmarks.
Looking at your past benchmarks will give you an idea of which direction your customer service efforts are steering. Thus, it is a good idea to survey your customers in frequencies, such as daily, weekly, monthly. This way, you can identify red flags in their experience and tackle the problems before losing the customer.
Act on your customer insights
What you do with customer feedback is more important than running a customer service experience survey. Your respondents submit their feedback, whether positive or negative, and expect you to act on the insights. For negative feedback, you should act swiftly to resolve the issue. For positive feedback, you should motivate your team for exceptional work and encourage your customers to share their feedback publicly.
When you start collecting feedback from your customers about your customer service performance, you will begin to gather insights to analyze alongside the analytical data. This way, you can identify the processes and channels missing in your customer service and take steps to improve them. And when you make a customer-driven change, don’t forget to close the customer feedback loop by sending them an email or an in-app message to inform the customer about the change and thank them for their insight.
So remember, customer feedback is only operable if you use the input to take action. The feedback you gathered should guide you to add value to your customer service, enhance your business process, and ultimately make your customers happy.
Finally, be sure to check out the Top 10 Surveys Used by Customer Support for more survey inspiration!